Walmart's terrifying shopping cart design measures your speed and heart rate
Walmart will know exactly how thrilled you are by its prices.
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Claire Reilly was a video host, journalist and producer covering all things space, futurism, science and culture. Whether she's covering breaking news, explaining complex science topics or exploring the weirder sides of tech culture, Claire gets to the heart of why technology matters to everyone. She's been a regular commentator on broadcast news, and in her spare time, she's a cabaret enthusiast, Simpsons aficionado and closet country music lover. She originally hails from Sydney but now calls San Francisco home.
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Webby Award Winner (Best Video Host, 2021), Webby Nominee (Podcasts, 2021), Gold Telly (Documentary Series, 2021), Silver Telly (Video Writing, 2021), W3 Award (Best Host, 2020), Australian IT Journalism Awards (Best Journalist, Best News Journalist 2017)
Gone are the days of running into a store to grab a quick carton of milk. Now retailers want to track every element of your experience in their stores, from your spending habits, to your location and now even your heart rate.
is trying to patent a design for a "biometric feedback cart handle" on a shopping cart that could measure a shopper's heart rate, temperature, speed and the amount of force they apply to the handle as they walk around a store.
The patent application, submitted Aug. 23 to the US Patent and Trademark Office and spotted by Motherboard, shows the cart would first measure "baseline" biometric data and then compare data at different points in a shopping visit to this baseline.
The data would then be relayed back to a central server and, if it indicated the shopper was "not satisfied," the central server would send an alert to a shop assistant to go and help the customer.
It's a sign of how smart our stores are becoming, and just how much data retailers want to collect. Shopping centres are already using Bluetooth beacons to track customers around stores, and new technologies like gaze detection could even tell companies what's grabbing our attention in a window display or how we feel about a product lineup.